CO-WORKING

Co-working is no longer a fringe style of working just for hipsters and entrepreneurs. It is mainstream. The shift from traditional office and full-time jobs to flexible, freelance and remote work is spawning more co-working spaces.

For co-working space inhabitants there are significant attractions. Low cost space in prime locations, shared office resources and the flexibility to stay or go is highly appealing. But beyond funky furniture, technology, table tennis tables and snacks there’s something more fundamentally important.

If you’ve ever belonged to a space, you know that community makes the biggest difference. It is the people; the members who make the space that are willing to share their experience, advice and networks that make up the true intrinsic value of co-working. Special things happen when random ideas collide.

If you need further proof of co-working being mainstream, look at the world’s largest name in it – WeWork with over 40,000 members. The six-year old startup is now valued at $16 billion after it’s latest $430 million fundraising from Chinese private equity firms, Hony Capital and Legend Holdings. After dominating the U.S. and Europe, WeWork will aggressively expand into Asia.

Asia has a big advantage when it comes to co-working. Not only are startup ecosystems developing in a fast and healthy way, Asia is a great place to live and work with its deep talent pools, affordable lifestyles, awesome street food and amazing beaches. So it’s easy to understand why co-working is not just for locals, but digital nomads who don’t just see Asia as a travelling destination but a working one too. Digital nomads take advantage of the fact that all they need is a good Internet connection to get work done. The rest of the time is for adventure and relaxation.

To follow on from the story on ‘The 10 Best Co-working Spaces On Earth”, Leanne Beesley, Founder of Coworker, a ratings and review platform for co-working spaces, shared her research into the best co-working spaces in Asia. The rankings are based on a combination of member reviews, organic traffic, and her own experiences visiting co-working spaces around Asia. As you can see from the list, the spaces are not all about being a launch-pad for the next billion dollar startup, but highlights those that provide the best atmosphere to co-work.

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